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1 April 2018 Life History and Phenological Characteristics of the Invasive Island Apple Snail Pomacea maculata (Perry, 1810) in Stormwater Retention Ponds in Coastal South Carolina, USA
Elizabeth L. Gooding, Amy E. Fowler, David Knott, Robert T. Dillon, Tiffany Brown, Michael R. Kendrick, Peter R. Kingsley-Smith
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Abstract

The impacts of non-native species on native ecosystems can be substantial, and effective management strategies often require a comprehensive understanding of species biology and ecology within the invaded range. The island apple snail Pomacea maculata is an invasive species known to alter the structure and function of wetland habitats. Researchers first reported island apple snails in the United States in Tallahassee, FL, in 2002 and subsequently observed this species in South Carolina (SC) in 2008. The objectives of this study were to document the spatial distribution, phenology and life history, and habitat preference of island apple snails, as well as its association with co-occurring gastropods in SC. Populations were surveyed in stormwater retention ponds throughout coastal SC, where surveyors documented the numbers of live specimens, sex ratios, and the substrate types on which island apple snails deposited egg clutches. The high abundances and year-round presence of egg clutches observed in this study indicate that these populations are successfully reproducing throughout the year, although egg clutch abundance was positively correlated with air temperature. Overall, this study found higher numbers of female P. maculata than males, and that females preferred to lay egg clutches on culverts as opposed to other available substrates. In addition to P. maculata, four other non-native gastropods were documented in stormwater retention ponds. Among these, Melanoides tuberculata and Pyrgophorus parvulus are potential vectors for multiple human diseases and had never before been reported in SC. Understanding the current distribution and life history traits of P. maculata is important for determining the potential for further spread and providing opportunities to protect healthy, natural ecosystems from the impacts of non-native species.

Elizabeth L. Gooding, Amy E. Fowler, David Knott, Robert T. Dillon, Tiffany Brown, Michael R. Kendrick, and Peter R. Kingsley-Smith "Life History and Phenological Characteristics of the Invasive Island Apple Snail Pomacea maculata (Perry, 1810) in Stormwater Retention Ponds in Coastal South Carolina, USA," Journal of Shellfish Research 37(1), 229-238, (1 April 2018). https://doi.org/10.2983/035.037.0121
Published: 1 April 2018
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